Pizza can either be a healthy combination of fresh, tasty ingredients or a calorie-laden meal.
Don't misunderstand me; there's nothing wrong with either option. I love a good cheat meal every once in a while, just as much as I love a healthy treat. And if I can have both at once, even better.
Here's how to build your own pizza with a healthier profile and plenty of flavor.
Build Your Foundation
When choosing the crust it is important to consider the topping to crust ratio you desire. A thin crust may be weighed down with too many heavy toppings. Deep dish can handle more weight but you still need to consider moist toppings and cheeses, as these could make any crust soggy and weak. Onion, sesame, or garlic crust pizza can add a savory note to your pie without too many extra calories.
When it comes to sauce, tomato is classic. Others, such as BBQ or Buffalo, add extra spice, or try plain olive oil, sliced tomatoes, and fresh garlic for something simpler.
Meat lovers don't have to go veggie to get a healthier pizza; you can save on fat and calories by choosing thinly sliced salami, chicken, or ham to cut fat and calories. In addition, these lean proteins will make your pizza a satisfying meal.
Bulking up your pizza with as many veggies as you can will instantly make it healthier. Caramelized, baked, or sautéed, onions in any form will add a sweet, savory bite to your slice. Olives add a salty tang, rich earthy mushrooms add quality, and green, red, orange, and yellow peppers add color. You can even add pineapple for a hint of sweetness.
For many, pizza is all about the cheese. Mozzarella, feta, and Parmesan cheeses add flavor and nutrition. Although not low in calories, they make up for it with their nutritional punch.
Serve your pizza with a large garden salad, to round out your meal. By building your own pizza and eating mindfully you can have a healthy meal that won't kill your diet.